Man pleads guilty to assaulting ex-wife


A 40-year-old Westminster man whose sentence of life-plus-70 years for assaulting his ex-wife on New Year's Eve 2002 was reversed earlier this year pleaded guilty last week in Carroll County Circuit Court to charges in connection with the same crime.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting his daughter and her boyfriend and a neighbor who intervened that night, according to Deputy State's Attorney David P. Daggett.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, Anthony Thomas Hughes, who had lived in Westminster, is to be sentenced in January to serve 45 years of a 75-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, and first-degree burglary at the Westminster duplex where his ex-wife then lived, Daggett said.

Hughes' former wife sustained serious, permanent injuries from the attack with a hammer.

Hughes was originally sentenced in January 2004 for the assault on Ellen M. Redifer with the claw end of a hammer outside her Westminster home on New Year's Eve 2002.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed Hughes' conviction in that plea-bargain proceeding because now-retired Carroll Circuit Court Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. neglected to include the standard information to Hughes that if he chose trial by jury it would require "a unanimous verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt," Daggett said.

Hughes was on parole for armed robbery at the time of the assault, Daggett said, so he was not freed but was returned from state prison to the Carroll County Detention Center after the appeals court ruling.

According to court testimony, Hughes and Redifer were married from 1983 to 1992 and had two children. On New Year's Eve 2002, Hughes broke into Redifer's home and chased her, their then 17-year-old daughter and the girl's boyfriend into the street.

Hughes caught Redifer and hit her repeatedly in the neck and chest with the claw end of the hammer, court documents show.

A next-door neighbor ran to help Redifer and he was also hit with the hammer and cut on the back of the head with a box cutter, court records show.

After the attack, Hughes got in his car and tried to run down the four before fleeing. He was apprehended in West Virginia the next day, court records show.

Hughes was released from prison in 2000 after serving eight years of a 15-year sentenced for armed robbery, according to court documents.

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